Australia Day 3: Artillery Tables
spin the other way.
I don't mean the sink or the toilet -- that flow is utterly dominated by the design of the sink and the initial flow of water
. You need a tray ten feet across and an inch deep with a tiny hole and an hour to kill to tell the difference between the coriolis forces affecting a small body of water. Not that these forces aren't important. Naval artillery shoots quite differently whether you are fighting Jutland or the Battle of the Coral Sea, and woe unto the officer that forgets it. Artillery tables -- the precision guided munitions of their day -- adjusted for particular latitudes so that one could hit the target. No. Not that kind of spin.
I'm talking about the bed. It's three in the morning, and I spent the evening having beers with eight Australians and the bed is spinning anti-clockwise.
* * * *
We took at tour of the Sydney Opera House at 9:30 yesterday morning, and got to hear the symphony warming up for a rehersal -- not quite the full effect, but cool nevertheless. And the SOH is probably as cliche a thing to do as the Golden Gate Bridge... but it's a cliche because everyone goes there, but everyone goes there because it's so damned cool. After, we rang up Tim Blair and arranged to meet at Kingsley's, in Woolloomooloo for dinner and carried on with our day. We walked around the Botanical Gardens and I, of course, was impressed with everything: "Oh, Look, Honey, it's [LATIN NAME REMOVED]!" "Uhhmmmm... that's crabgrass." Or "look, honey, it's [LATIN NAME REMOVED], we should put this in our garden!!" "Hon, that's asphalt." But there was quite a bit of good stuff -- including the flock (pod? murder? school?) of flying foxes I alluded to yesterday. Then we wandered around the Queen Victoria shopping center, which is cool, and then came back for a nap.
One thing we did do was stop by the tobacconist and having picked up a copy of the Guardian (not the UK Guardian, the Guardian which is the newspaper of the Communist Party of Australia) I sat outside here at McMahon's Point and smoked a Cohiba and read John Pilger (no, really, he was the back cover piece on the CPA's rag) and took in the view of the Harbour while Mrs Earthling took a nap.
Which brings me back to the Artillery Tables: don't drink in Australia... not least with Australians... without reasonable preparation. It's different down here.
* * * *
, for all his bluster, is far too modest to want me to say of him that which I think --- that he's a damned nice fellow and much more. But what I can say is this: this man, as cool as he is, he's gotten the better end of the bargain by with his partner-in-crime, Nadia, a delightful a woman as can possible be. Mrs Earthling spent the evening chatting with Nadia and Mrs. Earthling hasn't woken up to catch me up and I'm down stairs in the lobby of our hotel having charmed them enough to let me use their terminal so I don't need walk up a hill and pay for the internet. They even made me coffee.
* * * *
Our evening started pleasantly enough -- with a dinner of an oyster-stuffed filet called a "Carpet Bagger" -- and a lovely white wine called "Cricket Pitch" or something of the sort. Mrs E and I got there a bit early and chatted the finer points of "drink-driving" laws with the barkeep and enjoyed a very tasty comsopolitan as we watched the flying foxes, circling in thermals drawing off the heat of the billion-candle power of the Sydney skyline.
* * * *
We met up with several Australian bloggers later in the evening. I'm missing one here, but with Tony of agblog.blogspot.com
and Alan of alananderson.blogspot.com
and a third gentlemen whose name (and blog) escapes me. I'm hoping Tim can stick it in a comment if he gets to my blog today. But they all claimed to have read my blog -- and if they hadn't I wish I could have lied as convincingly -- and we just mused about how much the Blogosphere brings the world together -- we've got friends all over the planet now and I, who was never promethian about the internet, can't say enough good things about this.
One cool thing, of course, was getting to remind Tim to check out my friend Adam Bonin's blog -- Throwing Things
. What was cool, of course, was that Tim (who didn't know Adam and I are friends) said, more or less: "that's one of the greatest blogs there is. I need to read it more. He's practically the only fellow doing something different in the Blogosphere."
* * * *
Mrs E and I are off to the zoo and then to Bondi Beach with Tim Blair to try a Deep Fried Mars Bar.
I gotta give back the terminal here -- I'm wearring out my welcome -- more on the seemer side of King's Cross - the Beef and Bourbon --and a two-stones too-heavy prostitute who bit my neck to Mrs Earthling's unending amusment.
UPDATE: The story continues...
Now, the Bourbon and Beefsteak is in King's Cross -- I think what passes for the red light district in Sydney or at least comparable to the more rundown parts of Broadway in San Francisco near the Condor Club. This bar had all the charm and decour of a New York City stereo store undergoing its ninth year of a Going Out of Business Sale. And we merry few of bloggers were drinking our share of beer and Mrs E pointed out this rather plump tart who was clearly trolling for business. Well, I think she decided I was the obvious mark among out 6:2 male to female ratio and she came along and kissed one side of my neck and then bit the other. No skin was broken, so unless she had a spray-hypo grafted into her incisors, I think I'm free of any social diseases. But it was an odd exclamation point to an excellent evening.